Monday, 20 May 2013

The Totally Un-Wearable Muslin

I don't think I've ever made a muslin. I'm one of those pin and try on as you go people, making adjustments along the way. With time and experience, I've learnt what to avoid, what measurements to take prior to cutting, and also to slow down and look at things in depth rather than just going for easy or quick fixes. I often read about 'wearable muslins' - I suppose that's what I've been doing all along!

 But I decided to be a grownup and make a muslin for my next project, which was the Sew Vera Venus little bias dress. Lots of reasons for this:

- large sections are cut on the bias, and I don't have a great deal of experience with cutting large pieces in this way, so some practise was called for.

- this is my first time using a pdf pattern, and though I've seen plenty of success with them and I don't doubt Vera's skills, I'm essentially a suspicious person and rarely trust anything that's free. More about that later.

- lastly, I really love this fabric and want to do it justice. I bought it from Goldhawk Rd on the recent big London meet up, a day I have great memories of, so the last thing I want is to make a dress with loads of mistakes that I'll never wear.

Cotton gingham and cherries

So here's my muslin. Be warned - it's one of those things that makes sense to me, but probably no one else!

Check out my clever mirror manoeuvres!
As you can see, I used scraps of whatever was around, namely some cotton poplin for the bodice and some lining scraps for the skirt. And I left off the bottom skirt flounce. But this has definitely been worth it. I learnt that the point of the skirt sits way too high (right on my crotch, hence the wearing of black tights in the photo) and will have to be lowered about 5 inches. The sleeve on the right wasn't flouncy enough for my liking, so I cut a fuller version which you see on the left. I was also able to practise sewing a sharp point, so I'm confident I'll have it perfect for the final run.

As for the pattern, it's great. Or it would have been if I had printed it correctly. I must have screwed up the print sizing or something, because it came out way too small for me, meaning I had to spend ages measuring and grading and slashing and taping. For example, here's the sleeve:

Sleeve frill - more sticky tape than paper
Again, because the skirt section is on the bias and dependant on the drape of the fabric, adjustments are about more than just measuring; I needed to see how the fabric would act. And so far I'm pretty pleased. A few tweaks here and there and I'm confident about cutting in to the fabric - hopefully you'll see the results soon!

1 comment:

  1. ha i´m like you i think i never made any muslin in my life, i always thought it´s wasted time, but of course it makes sense if you try your hands on something completely new and you have a fabric you really love and don´t want to have many mistakes to alter ate. that pattern looks gorgeous by the way! i can´t wait to see the finished dress!


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